So why is Lenny Kravitz’ Are You Gonna Go My Way on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?
Are You Gonna Go My Way takes me immediately – snap, whap, bam! – to the summer of 1993.
It was the summer between my freshman and sophomore college years, and I was (stuck) back on Long Island, New York – the suburban sprawl of East Northport and Commack specifically.
So much had changed for me: I was a college “veteran” for one now, and chiefly important was that I had only weeks prior to the end of the spring semester entered into what was already and officially my first “serious relationship.”
And yet so much hadn’t changed! I was living at my parents’ house, hanging out at the Candlelight Diner* at night with friends – eating French fries and drinking coffee – and working at the Toys ‘R Us. In fact, I think you could throw a rock from the Candlelight** and practically hit that very Toys ‘R Us.
* There was not much to do on Long Island in those days, especially for the Under 21 crowd, but 24-hour diners were plentiful.
** Candlelight Diner a.k.a. the “C-light” a.k.a. “Can you handle the Candle?”
I have a visceral memory of being in the stockroom at the Toys ‘R Us and hearing Lenny Kravitz’ “Believe” on the radio. I recall thinking that I had never heard anything quite like it, and that it was deeply beautiful and even kind of moving. I still feel that way – it’s absolutely gorgeous, especially that ethereal-sounding organ, and still sounds fresh as ever some 30 years later.
It says much that I’m not even sure if “Believe” is the best song on Are You Gonna Go My Way, because of how strong the title track is. It boasts one of the best guitar riffs that Kravitz has ever composed, and it absolutely crushes from end to end.
“Come On And Love Me” is a nice groovy and swinging rocker.
Personal stuff that’s somehow related to Lenny Kravitz’ Are You Gonna Go My Way
While I’m blathering on about the Candlelight Diner, there are many stories that I could get into, almost always involving creatively stupid pursuits driven by boredom.
As quick background, the C-light had a massive menu – think Cheesecake Factory but more Greek dishes like souvlaki (and lots of other stuff involving grape leaves) and less cheesecake. So one dumb thing that we’d get into is that we’d try to come up with the weirdest possible menu ordering combinations, and then dare each other to actually pull the trigger on sending the order in. One example that I recall, which must have been conjured when we cracked the 21-years of age mark, was a Tom Collins cocktail with Raisin Bran cereal. Good times.
There was also an era when I’d play cards with a group of friends pretty frequently. We’d bet with money, but none of us were particularly good (I know I wasn’t), and the “big winner” of the night might expect to clear something like 15 or 20 bucks. The fun part though was that we’d head to the Candle after with the idea that the “big loser” of the night would then get proverbial salt rubbed in the wound by having to buy the big winner fries and coffee or some such.
Oh yeah, there was this other time when these off-duty cops threatened to handcuff my friends and I to the table if we didn’t, and I quote, “shut the f—k up.”
Did I mention that I wasn’t sad when I moved away from Long Island permanently?
Some stats & info about Lenny Kravitz – Are You Gonna Go My Way
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Album Rock, Neo-Psychedelia
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
- When was Are You Gonna Go My Way released? 1993
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #531 out of 1,000
Lenny Kravitz’ Are You Gonna Go My Way on Spotify
A lyrical snippet from Lenny Kravitz’ Are You Gonna Go My Way that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe
The future’s in our present hands. Let’s reach right in, let’s understand.
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.